Some simple guidelines about the food you choose to eat to improve your digestion:
• Enjoy liberal amounts of fruits and vegetables so you get lots of nutrients, and to help with creating a prebiotic effect
• Eat good quality protein (such as lean cuts, free range hormone free animals) to help rebuild good cellular tissue in your digestive tract
• Enjoy foods such as bitter greens and sour fruits to stimulate your digestive secretions
• Enjoy fermented foods to give your internal good bugs some food if not histamine intolerant - sauerkraut, kimchi and occasional fermented drinks
• Reduce and avoid potential dietary irritants such as preservatives, smoked foods, charred foods, coffee and alcohol
• Reduce gluten, and dairy products
• Choose organic foods where possible. This will lessen the burden on your digestive system and liver that has to detoxify and process chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides and antibiotics.
Avoid processed, overcooked, leftover food (bacteria and moulds can grow in the fridge!)
• Use a food diary to record what you eat each day and your symptoms to assess which foods are contributing. (This is something a naturopath can help you with.)
And some suggestions to help digestive function:
• Always sit down at the table and relax while eating
• Avoid eating when stressed. (Your blood supply is redirected away from digestion as in ‘flight and flight’ as adrenalin is surging around your body!)
• Eat mindfully – when eating, just eat
• Avoid watching television, looking at your phone, working and reading while eating
• Eat with family and friends
• Chew food very thoroughly – this is so important for good digestion and absorption!
• Avoid excessive liquid consumption with meals - these will water down your digestive secretions
• Get involved in food preparation
• Eat until no longer hungry, not until full – “hara hachibu” as he Japanese say - “eat until you are eight parts (out of ten) full”.